Why do you refer to Jesus as the Prince of princes when the book of Daniel refers to him as one of the foremost princes?

The person who became Jesus has lived the most extraordinary life. Prior to his becoming human Jesus was a spirit creature named Michael. Being a son of the King made him a prince as well —one of many angelic sons or princes.

There are also dark princes —demonic spirits who are opposed to Jehovah God. The reference to Michael being one of the foremost princes is found in the 10th chapter of Daniel. It states: “But the prince of the royal realm of Persia was standing in opposition to me for twenty-one days, and, look! Michael, one of the foremost princes, came to help me; and I, for my part, remained there beside the kings of Persia. And I have come to cause you to discern what will befall your people in the final part of the days, because it is a vision yet for the days to come.”

The prince of the royal realm of Persia could not have been a mere human prince. No human could possibly prevent an angel from carrying out an assignment. Although the demonic prince was able to successfully resist an unnamed angel for three weeks, Michael, one of the foremost princes, came to help. So, just like humans, we can appreciate that some heavenly princes are more powerful than others. By the way, the word “principality” is derived from the word “prince.”

True, being merely one of the foremost angelic princes is not the same as being the Prince of princes. How can the two seemingly contradictory descriptions be reconciled in the same person?

First, though, consider the expression Prince of princes. It is found exclusively in the eighth chapter of Daniel, where it says in reference to the ascension of a fierce-looking king: “And by his cunning he will use deception to succeed; and in his heart he will exalt himself; and during a time of security he will bring many to ruin. He will even stand up against the Prince of princes, but he will be broken without human hand.”

The reference to Michael being one of the foremost princes was in relation to his warring against the demon prince of Persia. That was several centuries before Christ appeared on earth; whereas, the eighth chapter of Daniel is a prophecy to be fulfilled in the final part of the days when the Kingdom of God comes to power. The Prince of princes is a title born by Christ after his ascension and exaltation to Jehovah’s throne.

By persecuting “the holy ones” during World War II, the small horn put on great airs “all the way to the Prince of the army.” Or, as the angel Gabriel states, it stood up “against the Prince of princes.” The title “the Prince of princes” applies exclusively to Jehovah God. The Hebrew word sar, translated “prince,” is related to a verb meaning “exercise dominion.” In addition to referring to the son of a king or a person of royal rank, the word applies to a head, or a chief one. The book of Daniel mentions other angelic princes—for example, Michael. God is the Chief Prince of all such princes. – paragraph 23

Astonishingly, the Watchtower inexplicably claims that Jehovah is the Prince of princes. The Watchtower’s teaching is all the more absurd when taken in the context of the series of prophecies in Daniel —each ending by depicting God’s appointed Prince exercising his dominion over the world and annihilating the last kingdom.

Not only that, the title Prince of princes is in full harmony with the similar titles of Christ such as Lord of lords and King of kings. (Jehovah is the God of gods) Just as the lords and kings over whom Jesus is Lord and King are his brothers, the princes over whom Christ is Prince are the 144,000 born again sons. That is why at Daniel 8:11 he is also called the Prince of the army. 

The point is, the person known as Michael and Jesus has undergone profound changes in nature —being transformed from spirit to human and back again by virtue of being born from the spirit. Being the firstborn of many brothers Prince of princes is a fitting title.

Although Jesus made a request to merely have back the glory he once had alongside his Father the Father saw fit to give Jesus more. Jehovah exalted the Son over all creation. No longer is the Son merely one of the foremost princes. He is over all. 

We see this change in the relationship Michael had with Satan. For example, those who embrace the lie that Jesus is God refuse to accept that Jesus and Michael are the two names for the same individual. They cite the letter of Jude that refers to an exchange between Michael and Satan regarding the disposition of Moses’ corpse and Michael did not dare bring judgment against the Devil but respectfully said: “May Jehovah rebuke you.” They reason that if Michael was Jesus he would have rebuked Satan.

It apparently escapes the Trinitarians’ notice that the time of Moses was long before Jesus came to earth —long before Christ was given all authority. Just as Michael changed from being one of the foremost princes to being the Prince of princes, that change is reflected in the way Michael deals with Satan in the 12th chapter of Revelation. Far from deferring to Jehovah, Revelation depicts Michael and his angels battling the Devil and his angels and hurling them out of heaven. In the time of Moses Michael did not dare bring judgment against Satan. In Revelation, Michael brings the full weight of Jehovah’s judgment against Satan in all-out warfare.